Tactical innovation, CW armored forces

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Aida1
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Re: Tactical innovation, CW armored forces

Post by Aida1 » 06 Mar 2020 19:55

Sheldrake wrote:
06 Mar 2020 17:37
Michael Kenny wrote:
06 Mar 2020 15:26
The threat posed by EPSOM was so dire they had to go with what they had and change the objectives rather than wait until all the divisions were assembled for the original master-plan.
I suspect we are in violent agreement. The Germans changed the objectives for the two SS corps panzer army they had concentrated. What was planned on 26 June was an offensive to separate the allied armies and drive them into the sea. By 27th June these forces were committed to a defensive counter strike against an alarming breakthrough west of Caen. The big picture was that the Germans were dancing to Monty's tune.
The offensive had been planned for the beginning of july because some preconditions had to be met first. The events of the end of june certainly convinced the german commanders more than ever that it would not be possible anymore to break through to the coast. They were aware that the allied tried to attrit the pz div which barred their road . To avoid this and in order to retain some initiative a free hand was asked to conduct a more flexible defense including pulling out some pz div out of the front, refit them and keep them ready for offensive counterstrikes outside the range of allied naval guns. A shortening of the front was proposed to achieve this (Lagebeurteilungen of 30 june/1 july by von Geyr and Hausser supported by Rommel, Entscheidung im Westen 1944 D Ose DVA 1982 pp 327-329). Rundstedt supported these proposals and got sacked for it by Hitler who wanted no ground to be given up.
Last edited by Aida1 on 06 Mar 2020 20:18, edited 2 times in total.

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Aida1
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Re: Tactical innovation, CW armored forces

Post by Aida1 » 06 Mar 2020 20:16

Aber wrote:
06 Mar 2020 18:26
Michael Kenny wrote:
06 Mar 2020 15:26

Quite sure. The German planners were behind the curve and running at top-speed just to stand still. EPSOM (shorthand for all the offensives in the last week of June) disrupted the German plan and drew in the panzers piece-meal and they were unable to be concentrated for the original intent.
The1st map is one of 3 that shows how the Germans were playing catch-up constantly changing plans to suit the situation. The threat posed by EPSOM was so dire they had to go with what they had and change the objectives rather than wait until all the divisions were assembled for the original master-plan. As you know the Allies were focused on winning the build-up race and they devoted considerable resources to destroying the transport infrastructure. It was no accident that 1st & 2nd SS were delayed and fragmented and it should not be seen as a stroke of luck that it happened.
Excellent - some maps I've not seen before.

It is one of the major missing elements of the Normandy story - the Germans were trying to destroy the allied bridgehead and any narrative which ignores these plans, in favour of arguing the allies were slow in winning the battle, is nonsense.
It was Hitler that absolutely wanted that. The Lagebeurteilungen by Rommel and Rundstedt of june 11 were dire and very pessimistic. Hitler reacted by ordering a counterattack that would destroy the allied bridghead( Entscheidung im Westen 1944 D Ose dva 1982 pp 126-128).

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Re: Tactical innovation, CW armored forces

Post by Kingfish » 07 Mar 2020 00:28

Aida1 wrote:
06 Mar 2020 19:55
To avoid this and in order to retain some initiative a free hand was asked to conduct a more flexible defense including pulling out some pz div out of the front, refit them and keep them ready for offensive counterstrikes outside the range of allied naval guns. A shortening of the front was proposed to achieve this (Lagebeurteilungen of 30 june/1 july by von Geyr and Hausser supported by Rommel, Entscheidung im Westen 1944 D Ose DVA 1982 pp 327-329). Rundstedt supported these proposals and got sacked for it by Hitler who wanted no ground to be given up.
I'm having trouble envisioning how the Germans could shorten their front by withdrawing.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

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Re: Tactical innovation, CW armored forces

Post by Aida1 » 07 Mar 2020 09:11

Kingfish wrote:
07 Mar 2020 00:28
Aida1 wrote:
06 Mar 2020 19:55
To avoid this and in order to retain some initiative a free hand was asked to conduct a more flexible defense including pulling out some pz div out of the front, refit them and keep them ready for offensive counterstrikes outside the range of allied naval guns. A shortening of the front was proposed to achieve this (Lagebeurteilungen of 30 june/1 july by von Geyr and Hausser supported by Rommel, Entscheidung im Westen 1944 D Ose DVA 1982 pp 327-329). Rundstedt supported these proposals and got sacked for it by Hitler who wanted no ground to be given up.
I'm having trouble envisioning how the Germans could shorten their front by withdrawing.
It was a proposal to give up Caen north and retreat on a line Caen south -Orne -Bully-Avenay-Villers Bocage-area of Caumont. This would give a straighter front. Was point 3 of the situation report of von Geyr on june 30 and was suppported by Rommel. Rundstedt proposed it to Hitler and got fired.

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Re: Tactical innovation, CW armored forces

Post by Sheldrake » 07 Mar 2020 12:51

The rationale behind HItler's intransigence was that he was gambling that the V weapons would have the same effect on the British that the Atom bomb did on the Japanese. Conventionally the Germans could not win a war of attrition against armies backed by superior material.

One scenario that worried COSSAC planners in 1943 was what to do if the Germans unilaterally withdrew from somewhere irrelevant to the main operation e.g. Norway. There would be a political imperative to occupy liberated territory which might unbalance the logistic plan.

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Re: Tactical innovation, CW armored forces

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 07 Mar 2020 14:21

Some thing a well designed game reflects. On the boards a player who abruptly changes strategy usually is taking a wrong turn & dissipates strength. One has to be careful about what opportunities are seized.

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Re: Tactical innovation, CW armored forces

Post by Kingfish » 08 Mar 2020 13:50

Sheldrake wrote:
07 Mar 2020 12:51
One scenario that worried COSSAC planners in 1943 was what to do if the Germans unilaterally withdrew from somewhere irrelevant to the main operation e.g. Norway. There would be a political imperative to occupy liberated territory which might unbalance the logistic plan.
Wouldn't such a move create more gain than pain?
Taking Norway as an example, a withdrawal would result in greater security for the arctic convoys, while further extending the coastline Germany would have to fortify against an invasion.

Likewise, withdrawing from Sicily/Sardinia/Corsica would have the same result in the Med.

I can' think of anywhere else on a 1943 map that Germany could afford to lose, at least not to the extent that COSSAC logistics would be affected.
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Re: Tactical innovation, CW armored forces

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Mar 2020 18:24

Kingfish wrote:
08 Mar 2020 13:50
... I can' think of anywhere else on a 1943 map that Germany could afford to lose, at least not to the extent that COSSAC logistics would be affected.
COSSAC confined its planning to resources imeadiatly at hand in the UK, & limited quantities from the US. I cant recall if this was required of it by the Joint Chiefs whom Morgan reported to, or if it were a internal recognition of the realities of 1943. In any case they could anticipate barely enough amphb lift & related transport for a three corps incursion into France. A reoccupation of Norway & build up of infrastructure there for offensive ops across the Baltic would not be cheap in terms of cargo shipping, amphi lift, & material already committed to the BOLERO operation/s & related build up of the 8th Air Force for its strategic bombing campaign. While the SLEDGEHAMMER plans, RANKIN I, II, III were relatively low cost any follow up, or the 1943 version of OVERLORD would rapidly hit limits imposed by the current deployment of cargo shipping globally.

I agree with the caveat 'afford to lose' Norwegian resources were important & losing Norway opened Sweden to options not good for Germany. Losing Narvik or Bergen, or anything in-between has long term knock on effects. Elsewhere theres much of the same.

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Re: Tactical innovation, CW armored forces

Post by Sheldrake » 08 Mar 2020 18:34

Kingfish wrote:
08 Mar 2020 13:50
Sheldrake wrote:
07 Mar 2020 12:51
One scenario that worried COSSAC planners in 1943 was what to do if the Germans unilaterally withdrew from somewhere irrelevant to the main operation e.g. Norway. There would be a political imperative to occupy liberated territory which might unbalance the logistic plan.
Wouldn't such a move create more gain than pain?
Taking Norway as an example, a withdrawal would result in greater security for the arctic convoys, while further extending the coastline Germany would have to fortify against an invasion.

Likewise, withdrawing from Sicily/Sardinia/Corsica would have the same result in the Med.

I can' think of anywhere else on a 1943 map that Germany could afford to lose, at least not to the extent that COSSAC logistics would be affected.
Morgan's worry was that the obligation to occupy and support liberated "Norway" would be a big distraction from the top priority task to create a lodgement somewhere where the 60+ divisions in the USA could be deployed. Churchill has a fascination with the strategic potential of Norway Norway. But Norway was a strategic dead end, with the occupier facing another sea crossing. Once abandoned by the Germans it would not have the value of Italy as a side show. The key restraint was shipping.

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Re: Tactical innovation, CW armored forces

Post by Kingfish » 09 Mar 2020 01:27

Sheldrake wrote:
08 Mar 2020 18:34
Morgan's worry was that the obligation to occupy and support liberated "Norway" would be a big distraction from the top priority task to create a lodgement somewhere where the 60+ divisions in the USA could be deployed.
I don't see how it would be a big distraction. It's not as though the Germans would be coming back, so whatever military resources required for the occupation would be minimal.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
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Re: Tactical innovation, CW armored forces

Post by Sheldrake » 09 Mar 2020 09:48

Kingfish wrote:
09 Mar 2020 01:27
Sheldrake wrote:
08 Mar 2020 18:34
Morgan's worry was that the obligation to occupy and support liberated "Norway" would be a big distraction from the top priority task to create a lodgement somewhere where the 60+ divisions in the USA could be deployed.
I don't see how it would be a big distraction. It's not as though the Germans would be coming back, so whatever military resources required for the occupation would be minimal.
In his professional opinion,with access to the data available to his staff he judged it to be important enough to mention it in his memoir. I suspect two factors may have swayed that judgment. #1 Shipping. Any demand on shipping was a risk. #2 No one can predict how the sudden opportunity might upset the thinking by the politicians and military commanders.

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